Termites are one of the most expensive pests to control once an infestation is established. An average of 600,000 homes in the US are damaged by termites each year. Termites cause so much destruction because they can go for years chewing their way through homes without being detected. Identifying signs of termites in your home like discarded wings, swarming termites, mud tubes, frass, and termite damaged wood early is critical in helping to prevent destruction of the structural integrity of your home. This damage costs Americans anywhere from $1 billion to $5 billion each year in treatment and repair costs.

How much does a termite treatment cost? That depends on a number of factors including the size of the colony, the type of termite, and the severity and location of the damage. Most termite control professionals will take into account the size of the structure to be treated, if the structure has damp or dry wood that is encouraging termite colonies to flourish, the extent of the infestation, and the type and number of treatments required when formulating a quote. The average cost of a termite treatment ranges from $200 to $900 with a typical treatment costing around $560. This breaks down to anywhere from $3 to $16 per linear foot of home. There are several different methods of treating termites, each with its own benefits and ability to work for a specific species of termite. Here are 5 of the most common types of termite treatments and the costs associated with them.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments are liquid soil treatments applied to the exterior of homes. Common chemicals used in these treatments include arsenic trioxide, bifenthrin, fipronil, imidacloprid, permethrin, and termidor. Chemical treatments work best for subterranean and drywood termites and for infestations that haven’t yet permeated the entire home. In a chemical or liquid soil treatment, trenches are dug or holes are drilled around the home (sometimes even directly into the foundations) and the chemicals are then poured into these holes. Chemical treatments average around $3 to $16 per linear foot of home.

Bait Treatments

Bait treatments are another option that also work best for subterranean and drywood termites. With bait treatments, holes are dug or drilled around the home and bait stations are installed. The termites then feed on the poison and carry it back to their colonies. These treatments cost more than chemical treatments because they are less precise and often require more visits. Bait treatments average $8 to $12 per linear foot.

Tenting Treatments

Tenting treatments are often required for larger infestations of termites as they treat the entire home and cover a much larger area than chemical or bait services. These treatments work best for termites that are in the home but are not very effective against underground infestations. With tenting, the entire structure is draped in a tent and termite-killing chemicals are then introduced in the enclosed environment. Tenting can be priced either by a flat rate (averaging from $1200 to $2500) or by linear feat (usually between $5 and $20 per linear foot).

Fumigation Treatments

Fumigation is a more aggressive termite treatment option that is similar to tenting but involves gas instead. A tent covers the entire house and lethal gas is then pumped inside, killing any termites in the house. This method takes several hours to complete and residents, pets, and even plants must remain out of the house for 3 to 5 days after the treatment. Fumigation cost ranges from $10 to $20 per linear foot.

Heat Tenting Treatments

Heat tenting is the final option for termite treatments. This is a chemical-free, organic treatment option that can cover your entire home or be localized to a specific room or area of the house. These treatments take about 8 hours to complete. In heat tenting, first the area to be treated is draped in a tent to help control the internal temperature. Hot air is then forced in until the overall temperature is 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The structural wood temperature is then monitored until it reaches a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit which is hot enough to eliminate termites and their colonies. The tent is then removed and the homeowners can return once the temperature goes back to normal. These treatments can be priced as a flat rate (usually between $800 and $2500) or by linear foot ($10 per linear foot).

Dealing with termites is no easy process and can become quite expensive. Scheduling an annual termite inspection, which averages about $100, can catch termite activity early, saving you from more costly treatments and repairs. This preventative measure can be a huge cost saving to you, the homeowner. If you suspect you have a termite problem, contact a professional pest control company who can inspect your home for signs of termites and damage and use their findings to provide you with the most appropriate treatment solution for your situation.